Helena High School

Academic Integrity Policy
February 2009 ~ Updated January 2015



Academic Integrity Policy
Helena High School

 What is plagiarism?

             Plagiarism is the use of another’s writing, videos, or graphics, without giving credit to the source. Plagiarism is unacceptable and against federal law and school policy. In fact, it constitutes intellectual theft.

As stated by Wake Forest’s English Department, “To put your name on a piece of work is to say that it is yours, that the praise or criticism due to it is due to you. To put your name on a piece of work any part of which is not yours is plagiarism, unless that piece is clearly marked and the work from which you have borrowed is fully identified. Plagiarism is a form of theft.”

Plagiarism can be any of the following:

  • directly copying a paper or portion of one without proper attribution.
  • taking the ideas of another person without proper attribution. Changing the wording of another document does not avoid the problem of plagiarism. Plagiarism is as much about the theft of ideas as it is words.
  • turning in someone else’s work as one’s own.
  • citing works that the student did not consult in the writing of the paper.

What is cheating?

The HHS Student Handbook, Student Codes of Conduct, 1.0 School Process, defines cheating as follows: “Cheat or act in the conduct of cheating – Cheat or cheating means a student acting dishonestly in carrying out any assignments.  This may include, but is not limited to, copying assignments, using unauthorized crib sheets for tests, looking at someone else’s test, plagiarizing, copying published works, or permitting another person to perform the assignment.”

Cheating involves taking information from another source or individual and using it without giving credit to the source.  Examples of cheating include the following:

  • taking answers from another student or source for a test, homework, or quiz
  • collaboration on assignments without a teacher’s permission
  • sharing information for homework, a test, or a quiz that includes theft, talking, gestures, copying, and electronic transmission

Why do we care about plagiarism and cheating at Helena High School?

The faculty of Helena High School is committed to the development of students who are both capable writers and ethical users of information. Our most important objective remains our core educational mission, and we are committed to providing students with the information and skills necessary to avoid plagiarism and cheating in their work. At the same time, we are committed to instilling a sense of academic integrity and personal responsibility.

Classroom teachers work to educate students about proper citation of sources and how to avoid plagiarism in writing. In turn, students are expected to act ethically in their work. Claims of ignorance about plagiarism or cheating will not be accepted as excuses.

How do students avoid plagiarism?  Students . . . 

  • receive a copy of the copy of the Research Guidebook, which contains information about proper citation using MLA and tips for avoiding plagiarism
  • may visit the Research Guidebook at the Helena High School web page under Library, Teacher Resources, or http://hhs.helenaschools.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/31/2015/02/ResearchGuidebook12.pdf
  • cite sources when the author’s exact words are used (direct quotation)
  • cite sources when the author’s idea is used even if it isn’t word for word (paraphrase)
  • cite sources when figures or statistics are used in the paper
  • cite sources which agree with the idea(s) presented in the paper (summary)

Student Responsibilities:  Each student has the responsibility to protect the grades and diplomas conferred by Helena High School by . . . 

  • not sharing answers with another student in a homework or testing situation
  • not allowing others to see answers
  • becoming knowledgeable about correct procedures for documenting sources
  • asking teachers for help in citing sources if needed
  • reporting cases of cheating or plagiarism to teachers, counselors, or administrators
  • discouraging cheating or plagiarism in others

Faculty Responsibilities:  Teachers and staff members will create a climate where intellectual honesty is valued and respected by . . .

  • acquainting students with expectations and rules regarding plagiarism and cheating
  • informing students about the proper ways to cite and document sources
  • enforcing the Academic Integrity Policy equitably for both plagiarism and cheating
  • meeting with students to discuss any questions regarding ethical behavior
  • monitoring tests and quizzes to reduce opportunities to cheat

Parents’ Responsibilities:  Parents can help their children avoid the consequences of plagiarism and cheating by . . .

  • reviewing the handbook and rules related to cheating and plagiarism at home
  • monitoring library research and internet use to help students be aware of the temptation to cheat or plagiarize
  • supporting the Academic Integrity Policy through demonstration and discussion

Consequences of plagiarism or cheating – Violation of the Academic Integrity Policy:

If students choose to include ideas for which they do not give credit, even after information is provided to them about proper citation, then the classroom teacher may determine that plagiarism has occurred. Likewise, the classroom teacher may determine that cheating has occurred in some situations.

The teacher should take the following disciplinary actions for violation of the Academic Integrity Policy, for either plagiarism or cheating:

  1. Immediate Steps for all Grade Levels:
  2. Notification of parent(s)/guardian(s)
  3. Notification of the appropriate administrative contact and counselor
  4. Loss of credit for the assignment
  5. Notation by the principal in the student’s disciplinary record
  6. Notification of the National Honor Society advisor
  7. Notification of the student’s Case Manager, if applicable
  1. Students who are repeat offenders should face more serious consequences. These may include appropriate actions as determined by the administration.

Works Cited

MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers. Seventh Edition. New York: The Modern Language Association of America, 2009. Print.

Format used with permission of Sue Vaughn. “Plagiarism and Cheating Policy, McQueen High School.” Mrs. Sue Vaughn, M.A.  Washoe County High School, Reno, NV.  22 September 2008.

Wake Forest University Divinity School Handbook. Wake Forest University School of Divinity.

1 September 2008.